ARC REVIEW – The Phantom Circuit by Austin Farmer.

A big thank you to NetGalley and Austin Farmer for the advanced copy of this book to read for free in return for an honest review.

The Hphantom Circuit by Austin Farmer, published on the 1.1.22. Read the synopsis here.

Overall rating – 2 out of 5 stars.

I’m in two minds about The Phantom Circuit, on the one hand there were parts I really enjoyed and though omg this is so COOL, but then on the flipside I just found it a slog to read at points, and I really did consider DNFR. I think the big blocks of text didn’t help and if the author had broken those up a bit more I absolutely would have found it much easier to read!

To brief you about the story… The Phantom Circuit is a modern day retelling of Bloody Mary, and instead of mirrors she uses ~other~ methods shall I say (don’t want to give too much away!) and as someone who was obsessed with urban legends as a child/teenager this was definitely something I thought I would love.

It did frighten me a lil bit, as I am still (at 26 years old) deathly afraid of Bloody Mary and so I want applaud the author for bringing that fear back into the forefront of my life…

The idea of this book was incredible, the author had taken quite a traditional legend and injected something new to the story. However, it just wasn’t executed in the best way.

Character wise they were kind of a focus of the book, but they also weren’t – it was pretty mixed and therefore hard to form a real opinion on them. I get what the author was trying to do, and I can see how the characters could have been such an amazing part of the story, they just needed fleshing out a bit more so that we could form an attachment to them and then start to root for them.

And I don’t think the delivery of the book helped with matters. The execution of the story is what lacked for me, it was all over the place and I felt like I was wading through treacle to read it. Some parts lacked relevance to the story and would have been better left out and as such would probably have helped with the flow of the story. I did enjoy the way the author had messages written from Dianne though, I found that really interesting and thought it worked well with the way Bloody Mary was appearing.

Overall, it definitely has potential! The premise is super cool and the idea of a modern touch on an old legend is interesting, it just needed some work on the execution of the story.

ALSO, a warning that it was going to discuss the pandemic would have been nice haha, I try and avoid that while I’m reading and it just suddenly got sprung on us!

Happy reading bookworms! Until next time, Em xxx

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